The 2019 Grand Prix assignments have been announced. Retirements, partner changes, and those sitting out this Grand Prix season, have opened spots for those who may not have otherwise been able to secure an assignment, as well as those who will make the leap into the senior ranks next season.
New faces will grace the six stages this season, particularly in the ladies fields with newly-minted seniors: Yuhana Yokoi of Japan, Russia′s Alexandra Trusova, Anna Scherbakova and Alena Kostornaia (Russia has 18 ladies spots in this season’s Series, and will field three in each of the six competitions), Yelim Kim and Young You of Korea and China′s Hongyi Chen.
Japan′s Mai Mihara is out of Skate Canada due to illness and has been replaced by Marin Honda. Ting Cui of the U.S. injured her foot in an off-ice warm-up in early October and has withdrawn from both assignments. Elizabet Tursynbaeva withdrew from Skate Canada on Oct. 11. Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx withdrew from the French Grand Prix on Oct. 14. (ISU grid has not yet been updated).
In the men′s discipline, Japan′s Koshiro Shimada, Conrad Orzel of Canada, Camden Pulkinen and Tomoki Hiwatashi of the U.S., and Russia′s Roman Savosin and Anton Shulepov will all make their debuts on the senior Grand Prix circuit this season. Mikhail Kolyada of Russia has withdrawn from Skate Canada due to a sinusitis problem and has been replaced by Julian Zhi Jie Yee of Malaysia.
Canada′s newest pairs team of Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau will make their debut at Skate Canada. New kids on the senior block in pairs are reigning World Junior champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia. Their teammates, Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert, have withdrawn from both assignments. Enbert is suffering from heart problems and has been advised not to train at this time.
In ice dance, Canada′s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, the 2019 World junior ice dance champions, will make their senior debut at Skate Canada. Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. will also make their debut in Kelowna. Green formerly skated with her brother and Parsons with his sister. Both partners retired at the end of last season and Green and Parsons teamed up in the spring.